We’ve all heard about the students who were harassed for being young, black, and swaggy while shopping at Barney’s. Trayon Christian was held for purchasing a $350 Ferragamo belt & Kayla Phillips was attacked for the purchase of her orange, suede Celine bag. Most were looking to see what Jay Z had to say, seeing as he’s partnered up with Barney’s for a holiday collection about to drop. See his statement below:
This collaboration lives in a place of giving and is about the Foundation. I am not making a dime from this collection; I do not stand to make millions, as falsely reported. I need to make that fact crystal clear. The Shawn Carter Foundation is the beneficiary and the foundation is receiving 25% of all sales from the collaboration, 10% of all sales generated in the store on November 20th and an additional donation from Barneys. This money is going to help individuals facing socio-economic hardships to help further their education at institutions of higher learning. My idea was born out of creativity and charity… not profit.
I move and speak based on facts and not emotion. I haven’t made any comments because I am waiting on facts and the outcome of a meeting between community leaders and Barneys. Why am I being demonized, denounced and thrown on the cover of a newspaper for not speaking immediately? The negligent, erroneous reports and attacks on my character, intentions, and the spirit of this collaboration have forced me into a statement I didn’t want to make without the full facts. Making a decision prematurely to pull out of this project, wouldn’t hurt Barneys or Shawn Carter, but all the people that stand a chance at higher education. I have been working with my team ever since the situation was brought to my attention to get to the bottom of these incidents and at the same time find a solution that doesn’t harm all those that stand to benefit from this collaboration.
I am against discrimination of any kind, but if I make snap judgements, no matter who it’s towards, aren’t I committing the same sin as someone who profiles? I am no stranger to being profiled and I truly empathize with anyone that has been put in that position. Hopefully this brings forth a dialogue to effect real change. – Shawn “JAY Z” Carter
While some may find his tone somewhat defensive and maybe even evasive, does he not have the right to be? Let’s step back for a minute. Momma always said never make a permanent decision off of temporary emotion. This is a business man making a business deal. Not to mention, this business deal is set up so the non-racially profiled (in this case, most likely the wealthy caucasians) will be purchasing these very expensive items to in turn give their money to the hood, or as Jay likes to put it “individuals facing socio-economic hardships”. I know people who have received his scholarship and used it this semester, facts only. Win for us or nah?
Most importantly, we as a race and culture should not need to wait on a celebrity or any public figure to make a change and stand up for what we believe in. If you don’t want to support Barney’s anymore (considering you currently shop there) do not support Barney’s – simple as that. What Jay eats does not make any of us shit. Now am I right or am I correct? We’ve got to stop looking for someone to put the blame on. If he pulls the line, does that mean the entire race is taking a stand or does it just mean the hood will be receiving less scholarship money next year? Will this really hit Barney’s pockets the way we think? What’s the percentage of sales made by blacks?
This isn’t the first store/brand to wish black people wouldn’t support their product. This isn’t the last. We’re probably all in love with a brand whose creators secretly aren’t in love with us. Couture and luxury brands rarely (if ever) use black models in their advertisement, but I digress…
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